2020 Miami Book Fair: A Talk with National Book Award Finalist Gavriel Savit, Author of "The Way Back"

Other Fun Stuff


Written by Victoria Azurdia 


Throughout the winter season, Culture Shock Miami has had the opportunity to interview a diverse body of authors and discuss their work and personal lives. In the last Miami Book Fair discussion, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gavriel Savit, to discuss his National Book Award Finalist “The Way Back.”



Gavriel Savit is a Broadway actor, singer, and New York Times best selling author. He holds a BFA in musical theater from the University of Michigan and has performed in a variety of countries. He is the author of “Anna and the Swallow Man” and “The Way Back”



“The Way Back” is a timeless tale that follows two kids who embark on a fantastical journey. From the author, “It’s a spooky adventure that follows two kids from a little village in Easten Europe in the 19th century called Tupik. They have a wild adventure through a land called the far country which is peopled with the souls of the departed and demons. It all starts when the angel of death comes walking through the little village one night and they and their families both have separate encounters with the angel that lead them all the way through the far country to death’s house itself and then by the time the book is wrapping up they are looking for the way back!”



Inspiration can be brought on by many different forms, but for Mr. Savit, it was a lack of seeing his culture in fictional story telling that inspired “The Way Back”. He talks about how, “There's this really interesting deep well of folklore and folk magic in Judaism that is just enchanting. There's so much really cool stuff that I didn't see in any of the books of magic that I was reading, and so when it came time for me to write my second book, I was thinking about how I can bring my background and stuff I like to read together and hopefully create a book that people who had my sort of upbringing and people who are interested in reading about fantasy can enjoy equally. I wanted to build a house with doors on opposite sides for both kinds of people”



What authors enjoy most about writing varies person to person, but for Savit, it was exciting for him to find integrations in human beings and magic. He says, “The cool thing about magic and fiction is that if it works, that's because it's connected to something that's deep in human beings[...] So there are a lot of little moments in this book of magic that excited me to think about because when you find one of these little nodes, it just gives you this kick of ‘I’m expressing something that feels like an invention but actually comes from deeper in my human being’. That's a real privilege, to be able to play around my computer until I find one of those little nodes, and everytime it happens it just makes your day.



Gavriel Savit is currently finishing up his 3rd book and diligently working to get it released by next year. “I'm excited about this book. It's a really interesting one for me. Its set during the 1893 chicago world's fair, which if you don't know anything about that World fair, oh my God it’s so weird and interesting, check it out.”


The Way Back is now available for purchase on Amazon and major bookstores. To check out the full interview, visit this link: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/virtual-book-club/8